Alex Lynn sealed Julius Baer Pole Position with a storming Super Pole effort to pip Jake Dennis (BMW i Andretti Motorsport) - much to the delight of the Mahindra Racing garage - to make it two Brits on the front-row on home soil in London.
Mahindra Racing's Alex Lynn took his second Formula E Julius Baer Pole Position with a flier in London ahead of the Heineken® London E-Prix Round 12, pipping BMW i Andretti Motorsport driver Jake Dennis to the post to make it an all-British front-row on the series' return to the UK capital after five years away.
Lynn was the penultimate driver to set his Super Pole time and pulled a real corker of a lap out of the bag – his final sector was mega, and enough to see him some 0.3 seconds up on Dennis’ then-benchmark to fire to Julius Bar Pole Position.
"It's been a long time coming from New York 2017 to now!" said Lynn. "To get another one at my home race is special. This afternoon it's going to be a tough race on a difficult track. We're in the best place to start and let's see if we can bring a trophy back home."
As the fourth driver to in the six-car shootout, Dennis had gone three-tenths up on Sebastien Buemi’s prior best through Sector 1, channelling the British bulldog spirit eluded to on his special crash helmet this weekend. He pieced a similarly-sharp remainder of the lap together to edge the Swiss by 0.083 seconds.
Nissan e.dams’ Buemi left his team wide-eyed with a mighty final sector to seal third - a strong starting berth for the first E-Prix at ExCeL London.
Sergio Sette Camara’s always sharp over a lap and the Brazilian danced to provisional top as the second man to run. That would eventually become fourth for the DRAGON / PENSKE AUTOSPORT driver.
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Porsche's Andre Lotterer headed the way in Group Qualifying and looked a good bet for pole, but the experience German couldn't quite piece it together, leaving him fifth and six-tenths shy of the ultimate pace.
Nato was first to run in Super Pole after squeaking the ROKiT Venturi Racing into the shootout. His 1m23.912s wasn’t a bad lap, and the Frenchman was on the ragged edge to eek out everything from his Mercedes-powered Venturi but it was ultimately only good enough for sixth spot.
Not only did the drivers have an all-new circuit to get their heads around at ExCeL London at the first FIA World Championship race in the capital, as well as a world-first indoor/outdoor international motor race, but the conditions made life doubly difficult.
Rain overnight meant stranding water on-track, and the weather being dragged indoors. The circuit did dry with each passing lap, borne out by three drivers from Group 3 and three from Group 4 making it to Super Pole, and the conditions were tricky enough to catch Free Practice 1 timesheet-topper Maximilian Guenther out entirely.
The German came unstuck on the way into the complex through Turn 15, with the backend of his car breaking loose, seeing his car slip-slide into the wall to his left and terminally damaging his BMW i Andretti Motorsport iFE.21 and throwing a red flag.
"Turns 9, 10, 11, 12, 16 and 17 still “very, very damp” said Mortara after Group 1's running, though much of the standing water had dissipated between Free Practice 2 and qualifying.
The Heineken® London E-Prix Round 12 is up next, with coverage from 14:30 local time.
Published on 24th July 2021